Why Iyengar Yoga?
It is due to the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar that yoga is so prolific in the West today. His method is now the most widely practiced in the world.
Iyengar Yoga is for everyone. The young and the old. The stiff and the flexible. The healthy and the infirm. A Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher is able to guide students of all ages and physical conditions to a safe and rewarding experience of yoga.
Certified Iyengar Yoga instructors are held to an extremely high standard. They train with senior teachers for years before they become certified. Iyengar Yoga teachers may modify the classic asanas (yoga postures) as needed for individual students with the use of props — such as blocks, blankets and belts. Props may be used for numerous reasons; for example, to allow students to experience a pose safely or bring intelligence to certain “dull” parts of the body. The use of props also enables students to experience a fuller range of motion or penetrate more deeply into a pose.
In addition to their training, Iyengar teachers maintain their own individual practice and continue to study with senior teachers. As such, they have a deep-seated knowledge of the asanas and are able to give highly specific teaching points. Their refined observation skills also allow them to individualize the corrections they give to each student.
What is Iyengar Yoga?
“Iyengar Yoga” is a system of yoga developed by the late Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar (December 14, 1918 – August 20, 2014). Mr. Iyengar is considered a yoga master and introduced yoga as we know it today to the West with his book Light on Yoga. His daughter Geeta, son Prashant, and grand daughter Abhijata continue to train students from around the world at the Ramamani Memorial Iyengar Institute in Pune, India.
Iyengar Yoga is progressive so that students develop a stable foundation before attempting more demanding work. Study traditionally begins with an emphasis on the standing asanas (postures) and in time other postures are added, including forward bends and back bends, twists, inversions, arm balances and restorative poses.
No two yoga classes are the same. Iyengar teachers are trained in the art of sequencing and take particular care with the sequence for each class, designing them for various effects or aspects of yoga practice.
To Become a Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor
Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructors are rigorously trained so that they can work safely and effectively with students of all ages and physical abilities. The training and certification process takes years and requires the candidate to study and be assessed on the knowledge of yoga postures and breathing, yoga philosophy, and anatomy. Finally, a panel of senior teachers tests the applicants and evaluates the candidate’s personal practice and teaching of students. To maintain his or her certification, a teacher must continue to study regularly with a senior teacher.
What Can I expect in an Iyengar Class?
- clear and precise instruction and demonstration of poses (as opposed simply to following along with the movements of teacher)
- attention to correct body alignment
- emphasis on standing poses to develop strength, stamina, concentration and body alignment
- emphasis of quality of movement over quantity of movement
- use of props such as blocks, blankets, bolsters, to allow students to experience freedom/comfort in a pose, to educate certain parts of the body, to experience a fuller range of motion, to keep a student safe
- safe, orderly progression of poses to maximize student’s yoga development and experience
- care in sequencing of poses for different effects, including bringing awareness to certain parts of body, deepening poses, introduction of new poses
- individual correction and adjustment by the teacher when necessary
- rigorous teaching standards assuring you of a well-trained teacher